A Chinese man accused of murdering a family of four, was executed in Japan on Thursday Dec 26. He was put to death by hanging, marking the first time in 10 years Japan executed a foreigner-born prisoner.
According to Kyodo News, Wei Wei, 40, burglarized the home of a 41-year-old clothing dealer Shinjiro Matsumoto in June 2003 and killed him, his wife and their two children in a conspiracy with two other Chinese men, Justice Minister Masako Mori said in the final ruling.
They stole valuables from the family’s home and used weights to submerge the family in the Hakata port in the city of Fukuoka, Mori said.
“It is an extremely cruel and brutal case in which the happily living family members, including an 8-year-old and 11-year-old, were all murdered because of truly selfish reasons,” Mori said, according to the BBC.
Matsumoto and both kids were strangled or smothered, and his wife drowned in the bath, according to the report.
Japanese policy dictates that death row inmates are not told of their impending execution until the day it is set to happen.
According to BBC, Japan has more than 100 prisoners on death row and 15 were executed last year, including 13 members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult.
The country only began disclosing the names of executed inmates in 2007 — and since then, only one foreigner was named, a Chinese man hanged in 2009, according to the report.
Wei’s two accomplices were busted by Chinese authorities after fleeing to China, according to the report. One of them was executed in 2005, and the other was sentenced to life behind bars in return for surrendering to authorities and cooperating in investigations.
Wei Wei confessed to being involved in the murders — but denied playing the leading role, The Post reported.